A new report — The School Staffing Surge — claims the number of administrators nationally and locally grew significantly faster than the number of students in the years leading up to the recession of 2009.
According to the report’s author — economist Benjamin Scafidi — growing numbers of non-teaching staff might be warranted if the result was improved student education. However, he writes that “the increases in public school employment since 1992 do not appear to have had any positive returns to students as measured by test scores and graduation rates.”
Public school administration and non-teaching staffs in Kansas grew by 42 percent, while student enrollment grew by 5 percent. In Missouri, the number of administrators and other non-teaching staff grew by 34 percent, while student enrollment was up 9 percent.
According to the report, the ratio of non-teachers to students in Kansas was 14.6 in 2009, and the student-teacher ratio was 13.10. In Missouri, the ratio of non-teachers to students was 14.2, and the student-teacher ratio was 13.50. In both states, therefore, public schools employed slightly more teachers than non-teachers. Neither state is among 21 identified by the report as being top-heavy on administration.
When considering the implications of this report, readers should keep in mind that the study’s sponsor — The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice — is in the business of promoting alternatives to public schools through reforms such as vouchers and tax incentive programs. However, the statistics analyzed in the report are the most recent available from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Since the Great Recession began in 2009, districts have cut costs due to budget decreases. When the federal government releases its next set of public school employment statistics, it will be interesting to see whether the number of administrators and other non-teachers has declined.
To find out how the number of non-teachers compares with the number of teachers employed by your district, click HERE.
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